Yesterday we looked at some of the types of persecution we might face as Americans. Today, I want us to broaden our view of the world and remember the persecution of those who have no concept of the freedoms we have.
When the decree was published that the people of Babylon could not pray to any other god or man for 30 days except King Darius, Daniel would not comply. We saw yesterday in verse 10 that "...he got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to his God, just as he had done before."
This act was punishable by death.
Verse 11 picks up with the bad guys seeing Daniel pray and they run and tattle on him to the king, "'Did you not publish a decree that during the next thirty days anyone who prays to any god or man except you, O king would be thrown into the lions' den? The king answered, 'The decree stands - in accordance with the law of the Medes and Persians, which cannot be repealed.'"
Then they lay it on, "'Daniel...pays no attention to you, O king, or to the decree you put in writing. He still prays three times a day.'"
This didn't set well with the King. He must have liked David because he wanted to rescue him. Unfortunately, there was no way. He had to do what he said he would do. He gave the order and Daniel was taken to the lions' den. The King gave this final word to Daniel, "May your God, whom you serve continually, rescue you!"
Those who serve God now in nations that are violent against Christians face death every day. There are hundreds, maybe even thousands, every who are persecuted in ways that those of us in America might not ever be able to handle. Underground churches thrive against all odds. Missionaries are still beaten and drug out of cities. In some places, if someone becomes a Christ follower they are disowned from their family as if dead. Others are killed for their faith.
I admonish us to pray for those who follow Christ in those nations, cities, and towns where their faith could be a death sentence. Pray for their protection and influence. It is our duty as those who have the freedoms we have to use our prayer for those nations in bondage. Take seriously your part in the call for all believers to go into all nations. You may not be the one going, but you can be one who can stand before God for those under attack.
If you know a missionary, pray for them by name and for the people they are with. Pray for their protection, strength, faithfulness, and guidance.
Pray with King Darius,
"May OUR God, whom they serve continually, rescue them!"
If you would like to follow a 31 day prayer journal for missionaries and the people they serve, please go to my blog Healing Leaves.